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Full text of "A history of Persia"

PERSIA BEFORE THE REVOLUTION   497
colder climate than the Panjabi, are, as might be ex-
pected, better clad, although to our ideas their clothes
are not wholly adequate for the very severe climate of
Khorasan. On the other hand, they do not move about
early in the winter, except when they take their produce
for sale ; and, if the weather be bad, they stay at home.
The percentage of children who die from insufficient
clothing must be very high in both countries.
The peasant wears cotton trousers and a cotton shirt
These are made from locally woven cotton material, which
is generally dyed blue. Over this he wears a long coat
reaching to below the knees, with very long sleeves.
This garment is made of striped calico, wadded with
cotton, and is generally kept in its place by a waist-belt ot
white calico ; in it bread and other articles are tied up.
A second coat, generally made of dark brown woollen
homespun and lined down to the waist, is also worn. In
winter a long woollen coat reaching down to the knees is
added. Shepherds, camel-drivers, and some others have
huge white felt coats which are very warm. On his head
the peasant wears a felt cap, which is more, or less a skull-
cap and brimless, or an embroidered skull-cap round
which a puggari is wrapped. Shoes are invariably worn ;
socks and puttees are donned when needed.
His wife has clothes of the same stuff, but generally
of a gay colour. She wears a pair of very wide trousers
falling to below the knees, arid a long chemise with a
cloak above. Round her head she winds a square piece
of muslin, which is sometimes fastened with a handkerchief.
Over all these she wears a long sheet, which is usually blue,
or sometimes white, and which covers her entire person.
The consumption per head of grain amounts on an
average to 50 Ibs. of wheat per month. In Persia wheat
as a rule is the staple food, and barley and other inferior
grains are used only when there is a dearth of wheat.
The bread is made in an oven twice a week. The Persian
eats curds, cheese, eggs, beetroot, turnips, onions, garlic,
and various herbs ; his bread he eats as a rule with curds
and mint. He seldom drinks tea. The use of this
beverage is steadily on the increase, but only well-to-do
VOL. II                                                                              2 K